Saving the Lives of 16 Million OCTOBER 2012

International Day of the Girl Child and 2012 FIGO World Congress


International Day of the Girl Child and 2012 FIGO World Congress

International Day of the Girl Child Signals Commitment to Girls' Health and Well-Being

The world has more than one billion people aged 10 to 19 years old. These young people face enormous and unprecedented threats to their health, yet they lack access to information, education, and services. Girls are at particular risk because of persistent gender inequalities and harmful practices such as child marriage.

The United Nations has declared October 11, 2012 as the world's first International Day of the Girl Child, establishing a day to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world and signaling its commitment to end gender stereotypes, discrimination, violence, and economic disparities that disproportionately affect girls. This year’s theme is child marriage. 


Partners are working in support of the Global Strategy to change the realities for girls around the world. Learn more about partners’ work on adolescent girls and child marriage.

2012 FIGO World Congress Joining forces to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals 

More than 8,000 participants have arrived in Rome for the 20th World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics, hosted by the International Federation of Gynecology & Obstetrics (FIGO). Every Woman Every Child partners join the triennial conference to discuss progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, and to share evidence from key publications such as "Essential Interventions, Commodities and Guidelines for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health", "Born Too Soon: A Global Action Report on Preterm Birth", and "Building a Future for Women and Children: The 2015 Report". View highlights and live updates on the PMNCH website

Global Handwashing Day

Handwashing is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries. Learn more about partners working on this issue: Sesame Workshop and Unilever.


In this Issue

International Day of the Girl Child and 2012 FIGO World Congress

Updates from September: 2012 UNGA Week

Partner Spotlight: WAGGGS

News and Opinion



Calendar of Events


A monthly roundup of pertinent resources. Please submit your recent reports via email for consideration.

Commitments in Support of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health

The PMNCH 2012 Report: Analyzing Progress on Commitments to The Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health

First Report of the independent Expert Review Group: “Every Woman Every Child: from commitments to action

Commodities Commission Report

Innovation Working Group Report

Commission on Information and Accountability 2012 report

Countdown to 2015 Report

Read More Publications and Resources »

Quote of the Month

"We are at a critical stage in our common fight against poverty, disease and ill health…If we give up now, it will mean an even longer recovery.
We thank all of you for walking this difficult path with us, and urge you not to turn back, but rather to stay the course.”

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia at the Every Woman Every Child progress dinner, Museum of Modern Art, September 25, 2012 .

Calendar of Events

October 7-11
2012 FIGO World Congress

October 11
International Day of the Girl-Child

October 15
International Day of Rural Women

October 15
World Handwashing Day

October 16
World Food Day

View full calendar »


Updates from September: UNGA Week Highlights

View a full summary of UNGA week health-related events here.

Every Woman Every Child Special Event 2012— Since its launch in September 2010, the Every Woman Every Child movement, led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has helped catalyze new attention and investment to some of the most neglected causes of women’s and children’s mortality. Through unprecedented global coordination and partnership, the movement has been the catalyst for more focused efforts, especially in the areas of family planning, child survival, and access to essential commodities.


On September 25, a special event hosted by the UN Secretary-General, with support from the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, the UN Foundation, the MDG Health Alliance, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria was attended by top-level leaders from across sectors including heads of state, heads of UN agencies and civil society organizations, CEOs of companies and foundations, chairs of health professional associations, celebrities, and academics. New commitments were announced to spur even more progress for women's and children's health, which included an additional US $52 million for women’s and children’s health in Africa from the Government of Sweden, as well as a pledge from World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim to establish a special funding mechanism to enable donors to scale up their funding to meet the urgent needs related to MDGs 4 and 5. Commitments were also made by private sector actors Infosys and the Ikea Foundation to help end child diarrheal-related deaths in India, and civil society members such as the World Association of Girls Scouts and Girl Guides and World Religions for Peace. 

Related Resources: Read a press release with more information on the health gains and the work that remains. View key messages on the Every Woman Every Child dinner and progress that's been made. View Frequently Asked Questions on Every Woman Every Child, last updated September 2012. View photos from the event on Flickr. Find remarks, quotes, and more information on the Every Woman Every Child website.

Every Woman Every Child Private Sector Luncheon — The second annual Every Woman Every Child private sector luncheon was also held on September 25, and was co-hosted by the Innovation Working Group, the MDG Health Alliance, PMNCH, and the UN Foundation. The luncheon allowed for nearly 100 leaders from the business, philanthropic and NGO communities to deepen ongoing private sector dialogue on innovation through partnerships and sustainable business models. It also provided an opportunity to announce new and enhanced commitments, including the next round of catalytic grants made by the mHealth Alliance.

Luncheon photo
Leaders at the Every Woman Every Child Private Sector luncheon. (Stuart Ramson/Insider Images for UN Foundation). 

UN Commodities Commission and iERG Report Launches  On September 26, a new plan and set of recommendations to improve the supply and access of life-saving health supplies was submitted to Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson on behalf of the Secretary-General by the members of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children. During the Commissioner’s meeting at the UN, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway were joined by former President Bill Clinton and other world leaders to announce a new partnership that will help avoid almost 30 million unwanted pregnancies and save $250 million in health costs. Learn more.

In the spirit of collaboration around global health, the independent Expert Review Group (iERG) launched its first report at this joint meeting. Co-chairs of the iERG, Dr. Richard Horton and Mrs. Joy Phumaphi, were present to submit this report to Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and brief him on progress in implementing the Global Strategy as well as the recommendations set forth by the UN ommission on Information and Accountability. Read the full report.

Bill Clinton joined other world leaders to announce a new partne

President Goodluck Jonathan and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg joined former President Bill Clinton and other world leaders to announce a new partnership that will help avoid almost 30 million unwanted pregnancies and save $250 million in health costs, in coordination with the UN Commodities Commission.

Partner Spotlight: The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS)


Pictured left: UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson with a Girl Scout at the 2012 Every Woman Every Child progress dinner.


The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) has committed 2013 to be the year for Every Woman and Every Child. Girl Guide and Girl Scout organizations in over 100 countries, with a combined membership of 10 million girls and young women, will deliver education programs, implement community action projects and advocate for change at national and community level for women’s and children’s health. Learn more.


News and Opinion

September 20

$20 Billion for Women's and Children's Health; New Funds to Spur Progress in Meeting Health Targets

September 22

Keeping Our Promises to Women and Children: Roadblocks to Ending Maternal and Child Deaths

September 24

Global advocacy organization Women Deliver announces Catapult at CGI session

September 24

The UN Foundation makes significant progress on commitment to improve women’s and children’s health, in support of Every Woman Every Child

September 25

Sesame Joins U.N. Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child Movement

September 26

Unprecedented Global Health Movement Yields Gains for Women's and Children's Health

September 28

Every Woman Every Child Opinion Editorial by Dr. Babatunde Osotomehin

September 27

mHealth Alliance, UN award 8 grants for maternal, child health

September 27

U.N. Gala Puts Focus on Women's Rights

September 28

Bayer Joins Global Initiative for Better Access to Safe and Effective Contraception

September 29

Women's and Children's Health: No Time for Complacency (Subscription required)

October 1

PM Yingluck assures the world about Thailand’s emphasis on women’s and children’s health

October 1

3 challenges to reducing maternal, newborn and child deaths

October 3

Leaders Announce Expansion Of Successful Maternal, Child Health Program In Tanzania
October 8

FIGO joining forces to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals

October 10

UNFPA Announces $20 Million Commitment to Reach Most Marginalised Adolescent Girls at Risk of Child Marriage 



See All News »

Every Woman Every Child aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015.  It is an unprecedented global movement that mobilizes and intensifies international and national action by governments, multilaterals, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women and children around the world.

Learn more at

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